An Updated Performance Comparison of Virtual Machines and Linux Containers

Isolation and resource control for cloud applications has traditionally been achieve through the use of virtual machines. Deploying applications in a VM results in reduced performance due to the extra levels of abstraction. In a cloud environment, this results in loss efficiency for the infrastructure. Newer advances in container-based virtualization simplifies the deployment of applications while isolating them from one another.

In this paper, we explore the performance of traditional virtual machine deployments, and contrast them with the use of Linux containers. We use a suite of workloads that stress the CPU, memory, storage and networking resources.

Our results show that containers result in equal or better performance than VM in almost all cases. Both VMs and containers require tuning to support I/O-intensive applications. We also discuss the implications of our performance results for future cloud architecture

By: Wes Felter, Alexandre Ferreira, Ram Rajamony, Juan Rubio

Published in: RC25482 in 2014


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